Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Tag: Oily fish

Oily Fish and Depression

If you suffer from low mood it is worth checking that you are getting enough fish in your diet.

Oily Fish and Depression…

A team of scientists from the Medical College of Qingdao University in China recently published a study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health that shows a link between depression and fish in the diet.

The research was very comprehensive: it analysed data from over 150,000 people from 26 studies that were carried out between 2001 – 2014. Of the 26 studies, 12 showed a direct correlation between frequent fish consumption and depression with those who ate the most fish having as much as 17% reduced risk of depression.

Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel and sardines, are a great source of omega-3s that are vital for brain health.

B Vitamins may tackle depression

Research has also been published in the medical journal Maturitas. The results of the research showed that many sufferers of depression had a Vitamin B deficiency. They also found links between the B vitamins, the immune system and depression. It is thought that low levels of the B vitamins lead to a weaker immune system which could be a contributing factor to depression. A Vitamin B complex could therefore be something worth bearing in mind for anyone with any feelings of depression.


the effects of stress and inflammation on health

The Effects of Stress and Inflammation on Health

It is National Stress Awareness Day so let’s look at the negative impact that stress can have on your health.

Chronic stress can rob your body of its ability to fight inflammation and make you susceptible to illness.

Studies carried out by scientists from Carnegie Mellon University put 276 healthy adults through an intensive stress interview before exposing them to a virus that causes the common cold. The participants were kept in quarantine and monitored for 5 days for signs of infection and illness.

The Effects of Stress and Inflammation on Health

The research team found that exposure to a prolonged stressful event was associated with the hormonal signals that regulate inflammation not being picked up by the immune cells. This meant that those taking part in the study were more likely to become ill. Inflammation is behind other illnesses including cardiovascular disease, asthma and autoimmune diseases.

You will have your own unique threshold to stress so what you find stressful may differ from others. It’s important that you have good coping strategies to lessen the impact of stress. Things like exercise, relaxing, spending time with family and friends can be good ways to protect yourself.

Good foods to include in an anti-inflammatory diet include: salmon and other oily fish, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats such as olive oil.

Fatty Acids in Fish May Shield Brain from Mercury Damage

Fatty Acids in Fish May Shield Brain from Mercury DamageNew findings from research in the Seychelles provide further evidence that the benefits of fish consumption on prenatal development may offset the risks associated with mercury exposure.

In fact, the new study, which appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that the nutrients found in fish have properties that protect the brain from the potential toxic effects of the chemical.

Three decades of research in the Seychelles have consistently shown that high levels of fish consumption by pregnant mothers — an average of 12 meals per week — do not produce developmental problems in their children. Researchers have previously equated this phenomenon to a kind of biological horse race, with the developmental benefits of nutrients in fish outpacing the possible harmful effects of mercury also found in fish.

However, the new research indicates that this relation is far more complex and that compounds present in fish — specifically polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) — may also actively counteract the damage that mercury causes in the brain.

“These findings show no overall association between prenatal exposure to mercury through fish consumption and neurodevelopmental outcomes,” said Edwin van Wijngaarden, PhD., and associate professor in the University of Rochester Department of Public Health Sciences and a co-author of the study. “It is also becoming increasingly clear that the benefits of fish consumption may outweigh, or even mask, any potentially adverse effects of mercury.”

The new study comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and international agencies are in the process of revisiting fish consumption advisories to better reflect the health benefits of nutrients found in fish. The FDA’s current guidance — which recommends that pregnant women limit their consumption of certain fish to twice a week — was established because of the known risk of high level mercury exposure on childhood development.

Mercury is found in the environment as a result of both natural and human (e.g. coal plant emissions) activity. Much of it ends up being deposited in the world’s oceans and, as a result, fish harbor the chemical in very small amounts.



How to keep your brain sharp

how to keep your brain sharp

A mediterranean diet helps keep your brain sharp

RECENT research published in the journal Neurology, found that people who followed a Mediterranean diet had a 19 percent reduced risk of mental impairment. The study, which looked at how to keep your brain sharp in old age, followed the diets of 17,478 people with an average age of 64.

The participants were given tests that measured their mental ability over an average of four years. During the course of the study, only seven percent developed memory and thinking difficulties. The essential fatty acid omega-3, found in oily fish, flax seeds and walnuts, forms the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet. The diet also features high levels of fresh fruit and vegetables and low levels of saturated fats, which are all important factors if you are wondering how to keep your brain sharp.

Lead researcher Dr Georgios Tsivgoulis, from the universities of Alabama and Athens, said: “Since there are no definitive treatments for most dementing illnesses, modifiable activities, such as diet, that may delay the onset of symptoms of dementia are very important.”

Diet is only one of several important lifestyle activities that might play a role in late-life mental functioning. If you are worried about how to keep your brain sharp as you get older, adding regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking are all important factors to consider too.

Other recent research found that eating a Mediterranean-style diet can cut heart attacks, strokes and death rates in people at high risk of heart disease by as much as one third.

Source: Georgios Tsivgoulis, M.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of Athens, Greece; Sam Gandy, M.D., associate director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, New York City; April 30, 2013, Neurology



Eat oily fish and live two years longer

Oily fishI’M harping on again about oily fish … But there’s a very good reason! Researchers have found that eating oily fish twice a week could prolong your life by two years. 

The study found that older people with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids are 25 per cent less likely to die prematurely and a third less likely to die of heart disease. This is the first study to check for levels of fish consumption and link them with death rates. Adults aged 65 and with the highest blood levels of the fatty acids lived, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with the lowest levels.

Lead author Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health said: “Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health, and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the years of remaining life.”

If you don’t like oily fish, make sure you take a good quality omega-3 fish supplement that gives you 650mg EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and 450mg DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) daily. It is important to use a good quality brand that is certified free of heavy metals, dioxins and PCBs.


Good Nutrition Advice – Top healthy foods – oily fish

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